Alexis Sanchez should have had one of the great Arsenal careers - instead he is already a ghost of their past

At his worst, Arsenal could not live with Sanchez and now a calamitous departure awaits Credit: GETTY IMAGES

They say that when the mood takes him at Arsenal’s training ground, Alexis Sanchez can occasionally walk off the pitch before a game or exercise has finished, a simple but effective way of reminding everyone who holds the power at the club.

As he disappears down the track back to the main building, the game resumes, life goes on, but everyone has been given a taste of what it will be like when the best player in the club finally walks out for good.

That time is near now, and it says something about the Sanchez effect on both players and fans that it is now considered the best option for Arsenal that he does not see out his contract this June and goes this month. Sanchez has always put Sanchez first in four years at the club and for some of that time, it was good for both: an A-list footballer with the skill and bloody-mindedness to win a game on his own.

At his best he played with a hustle...

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